Class Starter Questions answer in your journal (entry #6) • What does cognitive development mean? • What has a child learned when he or she understands object permanence? • At what age do children learn the principle of conservation of liquid volume? • Names Piaget’s 4 stages of cognitive development and include a 2-4 word description of each stage. • What is a growth spurt and at what ages do these typically occur? • How can the brain increase in mass without an increase in nerve cells? • Why is it that children learn the harder concurrent learning task before the easier nonmatching-to-sample learning task?
Cognitive Psychology Cognitive Psychology is the scientific study of human thought and the mental processes that underlybehaviour. Cognitive development is the emergence of the ability to think and understand.
Object Permanence • A child has developed cognitively when they learn that physical objects continue to exist when they are out of sight. • This is known as object permanence.
Which container has the most liquid? Conservation of liquid volume not understood until the age of 7
Piaget’s Stages of Cognitive Development Cognitive development is a continuous process
Growth Spurts • Sporadic period of sudden growth that lasts for a finite time • Epstein (1979) • Identified five spurts in brain growth during development. • First four coincide with onset of Piaget’s stages, and the last occurs around 14 to 16 years. • Likely due to growth of glial cells and synapses. • Neurons become larger, new blood vessels form, new astrocytes are produced
In what sequence do the forebrain structures required for learning and memory mature? Forebrain structures: • temporal lobe (object recognition) • basal ganglia (specific object information)
Task #1: Object Displacement Subjects must learn to displace an object to receive a food reward
Task #2: Nonmatching to sample Measures object recognition- function of temporal lobe
Task #3: Concurrent-discrimination Measures trial and error learning of specific object information- function of basal ganglia
Results Both humans and monkeys learn the harder concurrent-discrimination task (#3), believed to depend on the basal ganglia, before they learn the easier nonmatching-to-sample task (#2), believed to depend on the temporal lobe.
In what sequence do the forebrain structures required for learning and memory mature? Conclusion Conclusion: The basal ganglia develops more quickly then the temporal lobe.